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Types of Messages (based on suggestions by AP GIBBS)


1. Personal Testimony 

  • Positive aspects: Natural, Interesting
  • Dangers: Others may try to emulate the same experience. Exaltation of self, and what J. Vernon McGee called " perpendicular 'I'-eetus"

2. Expository 

  • Positive aspects: The most difficult but the VERY BEST. It is the consecutive opening up of scripture, emphasizing God's word. Never exhausts having sufficient material. There is a crying need for this type of preaching.
  • Danger: Can turn into disconnected sermonettes especially if the context and train of thought of the text is is lost. We knew a brother who preached through Ephesians 2 verses a week. Example- this week verse 5&6, next week verses 6&7. The context and flow of thought of Paul was lost.

3. Textual

  • Similar to expository - using shorter scripture portions

4. Topical

  • Positive aspects: The expounding of certain Topics or Doctrines. Needs unity, coherence.
  • Danger: Preacher can exhaust his preaching topics. There is a danger of the infrequent preacher never getting past topical preaching and unwittingly preaching the same sermon repeatedly, though in different guise. Can become non doctrinal and a place of opinions and beating the same old drum.

5. Historical Incident

  • Positive aspects: A Bible story - ever popular to listeners- is unfolded with spiritual meaning and application given.
  • Danger: Allegory or one-sided truths given, or can be political.

6. Biographical

  • Posititve aspects: Study of a person's life, can be very interesting by giving success examples and failure warnings.
  • Danger: Limited topics and can become out of balance. Can become man-centered. Can exalt men instead of Christ.

7. Gospel

  • Positive aspects: It is the command of God to preach the gospel to the lost. This is His method and is utterly essential.
  • Danger: It may surprise some to place a danger here, but in the local church, the primary purpose of teaching & preaching is building up the saints. Failure to move beyond gospel preaching (for the already saved) leaves their growth stunted.